One of the risks when buying a farm is what you find when you start going through the shed. Farmers have an ability to see value in hoarding any thing that might possibly be useful. When they move, often much of the stuff is left in the shed as it “may be useful” to the new owner, and the shed on the Rock Farm was no exception.
Whilst we may have unearthed some fantastic treasures, we also found some skeletons. One that has caused me the most worry was an old chest freezer packed with old drenches, herbicides and pesticides. What was worse is that may of the chemicals were stored in old food and drink bottles and were unlabelled. It was something that made me extremely nervous, especially with young kids visiting the Rock Farm.
Disposal of old chemicals is a real problem. Whilst DrumMUSTER provides an avenue to recycle clean agricultural chemical containers, it is much harder to find an avenue to dispose the chemicals themselves.
And so it was a bit of a relief when I found ChemClear. ChemClear provides a collection and disposal pathway for unwanted agricultural chemicals. Whilst my collection was too small to make it worth registering for collection, I was extremely pleased to learn that they come to our regional council transfer station once a year.
I had been counting down the days until this morning, when ChemClear came to our regional transfer station. I gratefully loaded up the ute with the toxic collection of goodness knows what. The most concerning were the old food and drink containers with different coloured liquids in them. I also had a large tub worth of expired animal drenches and a couple of 20 litre chemical drums with no labels, other than an ominous POISON stamped in the plastic.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived, but the ChemClear team were ready for me. As soon as I had pulled up, a team of appropriately dressed staff were unloading the chemicals and sorting them. They told me that some of the chemicals would be recycled, but others would be destroyed, mostly through incineration. They took them all, with the only question asking where I had heard about the program.
And the cost? Absolutely free.
Well not quite. I did have to travel to our regional transfer station, some 60km instead of the 5km to our local transfer station, but it was a small price to pay.
I did then race home and take the old freezer / chemical store to our local transfer station. It cost me $25 to dump the unit, where they assured me the fee was used to recover the refrigerant….that is if it had any left after 40 years or so of rusting away in the old shed on the Rock Farm.
I am extremely happy that our farm is a lot safer, and I am happy that the chemicals won’t cause a problem either for my family, visitors to our farm, or the greater environment. If you have any old chemicals lying about, do yourselves a favour and check out when the ChemClear trucks are coming to your local transfer station.